Here’s How Ben & Jerry’s and HeadCount Creatively Made a Difference at LOCKN’

At LOCKN’, one of our primary goals is to give back to the community and encourage our music family to get involved with great causes. Working together to create a greater whole is foundational to our culture. HeadCount’s Participation Row activism village is at the heart of our values, and our friends at Ben & Jerry’s help make it possible.

Bigger, Busier, and Better Than Ever

This year’s Participation Row was busier than ever and we’re so excited to share our success with you. Records were broken as an amazing display of strength took place. We loved the hustle and bustle of seeing donations and actions come in knowing that they are going right back out into the community. We know that every single action made a difference.

Most voter registrations: 431

Most election alert signups: 1,270

Most actions on Participation Row – over 10,000

Most $ raised: $210,000


Participation Row Welcomed Over 15 Non-Profit Organizations in 2018

Back again this year, P-Row featured free Ben & Jerry’s, a drawing for a signed axe from D’Angelico Guitars, and a silent auction to raise funds for all our charities.

Building on HeadCount’s #TheFutureIsVoting message, we had over 15 non-profit organizations, each celebrating a different way you can make the world a better place. Fans came by all day to take actions, and of course, came hungry for ice cream and positive change!

Participating orgs included Conscious Alliance, Crozet Tunnel Foundation, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, Giving Hope Foundation, HeadCount, Love Hope Strength, Lynchburg Humane, Society North Branch School, Park School, RecycleLife, United Plant Savers, Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition, Rock The Earth, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, The Hansen Foundation, and Owsley Stanley Foundation.


Giving Back Feels Good at LOCKN’

We can’t thank our fans, Ben & Jerry’s, and HeadCount enough, for the opportunity to use music and culture to engage people in a conversation about the importance of civic engagement. This is a huge part of why Ben & Jerry’s loves working with LOCKN’, and we love working with them!


Keep up the Good Work!

You guys did another phenomenal job, and it doesn’t stop at LOCKN’! It’s our hope that you will continue to support and invest your time in helping others and making the world a better place. There is a sense of community felt in the heart of the music scene. It’s a feeling that we create. Together we can make a change and a difference!


From the LOCKN’ Times on Saturday, August 25

Participate at LOCKN’

By Gabby Strang

Free ice cream, free Dead-themed tea and a number of limited-edition prizes are what you’ll find at this year’s Participation Row. Not only is this the 6th annual LOCKN’ Festival, but also the 6th year since the launch of the social action village on the festival grounds that’s getting in the know about local human rights and environmental organizations with a chance to register to vote.

Curated by HeadCount, this year’s non-profit lineup includes Conscious Alliance’s ‘Art That Feeds’ food drive, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, Park School, North Branch School, Lynchburg Humane Society, Giving Hope Foundation, Nelson County Tourism, Recycle Life, United Plant Savers, Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition, Rock the Earth, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, Owsley Stanley Foundation, Hanson Foundation, and two D’Angelico guitars signed by LOCKN’ headliners- one given away at a Participation Row raffle and the other up for auctioning, along with a signed poster, to raise money for charities working the Row.

HeadCount has been built on getting people knowledgeable about voting through their registration drives. Formed by Andy Bernstein and Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein, the organization has covered festival grounds and events throughout the nation and through the power of volunteers has reached over 500,000 people since its inception during the 2004 presidential election. Bob Weir has also joined the HeadCount crew as a Board of Director, utilizing the organization’s message on getting in the know politically while speaking with the

Parkland shooting survivors before Dead & Company’s Sunrise, FL concert, as well as having Participation Row travel on every Dead & Co. tour.

HeadCount will have 18 volunteers coming to this year’s Participation Row. HeadCount volunteer veteran and team leader JR Wotring, who was working with the organization since 2008, expresses gratitude for what Participation Row does at LOCKN’. “Participation Row always feels like the heart of the festival. It’s where everything kind of comes together from that perspective of the art and the community and what we would like to accomplish,” says Wotring. “This is our community, and this is what our community represents. We will put that out there and let everyone know what we’re about and be able to turn that into immense good.”

In Participation Row’s first year, HeadCount raised over $49,000 for all the non-profits held that year on the Arrington, VA festival grounds- with the auctioned guitar being sold for $20,000 and the auctioned poster for $6,000 dollars. 2016 was a prominent year for the organization as well, as the Presidential election was just around the corner, and HeadCount was able to rack in 236 brand new registered voters and 7,728 socially conscious actions between the 17 non-profits. With the 2018 gubernatorial voting happening November 6th in Virginia, the organization has big aim for how much impact Participation Row will have on both musicians and attendees of the festival.

“Last year we had over 2,000 stamp cards turned in and that’s the largest summer we’ve ever had,” says HeadCount managing director Laurie Lenniger. “I think the goal this year would be

let’s try and break it. We had a special amount, we had a full new set up last year and it worked really, really well and it made a really special experience. It was very collaborative and engaging and so we’re doing that again this year and hopefully we’ll break that [record].” Last year’s HeadCount auctioned guitar was sold at $10,250 dollars, with autographs from the likes of Phil Lesh, Phish, Umphrey’s McGee, Ween, Lettuce, Chris Robinson, My Morning Jacket, and many more 2017 headliners.

And the free ice cream? It’s just as simple as grabbing those stamp cards at the entrance of Participation Row and checking out 4 of the different non-profits–then you have an all-access pass to Ben & Jerry’s the entire weekend, including the classic flavors Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, and non-dairy option of Caramel Almond Brittle, as well as Tonight Dough and Cookie Dough pint slices. Ben & Jerry’s marketing manager and LOCKN’ representative Brodie O’Brien estimates the company will serve 15,000 scoops this year. “We’re really hoping we can drive some attention and some awareness of those midterms coming up and get as many people to the polls as possible,” explains O’Brien, “A lot of these issues are really local and a lot of them climb under the radar, and if Participation Row can give them an on-ramp for people to start thinking about that as they get ready to go to the polls in November then that it’s a win for everybody.”

Participation Row is creating an incentive through learning about what you can do locally, all while indulging in some sweets and some rock n’ roll prizes. So, what are you waiting for? come on down to the Row, get in the know about social issues, sign up to vote in your local elections, get some free ice cream, and support great causes supporting important issues.

Settle Down Easy

By Isabella Ferrel

Non-partisan voter registration group HeadCount is bringing some extra TLC to LOCKN’ this weekend.

HeadCount and Boulder-based tea company Celestial Seasonings announced a new partnership earlier this year based on both group’s mutual appreciation for the power of music, music voter participation and social responsibility. In celebration, Celestial Seasonings designed a new, Grateful Dead inspired tea blend affectionately named “Ramble on Rose” after the Robert Hunter penned tune.

The ultra-limited-edition blend–only 6,000 units are being produced–is an herbal, caffeine free tea made with organic rose hips ideal for settlin’ down easy after a killer late-night set. The boxes themselves are adorned with art designed by longtime Dead poster artist AJ Masthay. The designs pay homage to both Masthay’s signature poster style and classic Dead symbology. Each box also includes information about HeadCount, their mission, and history, as well as upcoming elections.

According to HeadCount’s Executive Director Andy Bernstein, both HeadCount and Celestial seasonings wanted to make an even bigger impact this year in the lead up to the 2018 mid-term elections.

“We’re very proud to partner with HeadCount to support their mission of getting more people engaged and participating in our democracy.” Celestial Seasonings Vice President Tim Collins

said. “It was such a thrill for us to create these new tea blends and partner with these incredible artists. We’re going to have a great time at the shows this summer talking to fans about how to get involved and be heard.”

This is not the first time that the HeadCount world and the Grateful Dead world have intersected. The community cultivated by the Dead and their fans have long lent their powerful voice to raising awareness on the importance of voting. Fans may have heard about HeadCount and Participation Row from their presence at nearly every Dead and Co. show over the past few tours, as well as Weir’s raps about the importance of voting at the end of some of his concerts.

“There is no way our organization would be where it is today if not for the community that’s been cultivated by the Dead and their fans,” Bernstein added. “Bob Weir has been supportive of us since day 1, back before the 2004 elections. We can’t thank them enough for lending their powerful voice to the course of voting.”

Ramble on Rose will not be sold by Celestial Seasonings online or in stores. In order to get your hands on a box, head on over to the HeadCount booth at Participation Row and sign up for non-partisan election alerts. Only a limited amount will be available, so run–HeadCount already gave out the first half of the supply at Dead & Co.’s summer tour closer at Folsom Field earlier this summer.

Again, you can’t get Ramble on Rose tea at LOCKN’ without also getting reminders about when, where and how to vote, visiting Participation Row and taking actions with the amazing non-profits festival invited.